This was a bad one. We were at Dick’s Sporting Goods looking for a backpack for my wife, who was leaving for grad school the next day. Everything was fine, and my son said “Let’s go look at bikes!” in an excited voice, and less than three seconds later he was on his face on the floor convulsing.
The floor of Dick’s Sporting Goods is not made of feathers, marshmallows, or even shag carpeting, and as we lay on it next to Edward, trying to count how long the seizure had been going on, we noticed the blood pooling on the floor. My wife screamed for me to call 911, which I did, and Ruby, who had been the subject of so many terrifying fits in the past, finally got to see her first one in real life. It was terrifying for everyone involved, including and especially the poor employees and patrons of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
As we waited for the EMTs, Edward came out of his convulsions and crawled into my lap, his face looking like he had just auditioned for a role in Rocky 6. Our concern was that he had bitten through his tongue, or that he had severely injured his head in the fall, or that, you know, actually, pretty much any time you see people choking blood out of their mouths it is a cause for alarm, but when we got to the hospital, it turned out to be a best case scenario, at least as far as that was concerned. He had hit his face and had a mark just under his eye on his cheekbone, but the blood was from his lips, which he had been involuntarily chewing as his jaw twitched up and down on the floor.
The doctors said he would not need any stitches, his head looked okay, and his tongue was totally fine. We were right to be concerned and to call the ambulance, but now we were free to go home, which we did. He went right to sleep, and we had some long talks with our very frightened daughter who hasn’t slept well since. I guess she can join the club. But in the morning, things went back to normal, or as normal as they get around here. With one difference.
When we got up yesterday morning, Edward was excited to go to church to see his friends. But a while later in the morning, he told me he didn’t want to go anymore. He said that he didn’t want anyone to see his lip, which was swollen and puffy, although not that noticeable when he didn’t have his mouth wide open. I convinced him that it would be okay, and off we reluctantly went. At church, my wife was telling the story of our evening to someone there, and in the middle of it Edward ran off and sat down alone in a pew with a sad and distressed look on his face. He sat there, arms crossed and bottom lip stuck out, until my wife went over and asked him what was wrong. He informed her that he didn’t want her to tell the story to anyone, and that he didn’t want anyone to know what had happened to him.
I have wondered before about the ethics of taking private details about my children and putting them onto the internet. Information, especially about sensitive issues like health, can be dangerous and could feel like a violation of privacy, which is why this is the last time I am going to post here about Edward and his medical journey. When I first asked Ruby about sharing her epilepsy story with the internet, she was fine with it. She never had a problem with her condition, and felt no embarrassment about it. When she sat in the hospital, wires attached to her head, she told us to take pictures and then show them to people. I never worried that I was sharing things that she would be upset about, and I always asked her about things before I posted them. It’s clear to me now that Edward does not want all of this shared with the world, or anyone really, so I have to stop.
I am only sharing this story with you today because I had already posted parts of it on Facebook, and I wanted people to know what happened, and that we’re okay now. Slightly traumatized, exhausted, and worse-for-wear, but okay. And as things happen in life that I do write about, I may allude to future events, or reference them in a general way, but I need to respect my son’s desire for privacy, which I know you all understand. Thanks for all of the support through this tough time, and I’ll see you all back here tomorrow, hopefully on a more lighthearted note.
Oh, and in the good news department, we went back to Dick’s Sporting Goods yesterday afternoon to get the things we left on the ground and never bought the previous evening, and they recognized us, were very concerned and helpful, and gave us 20% off! So, everyone buy stuff from them. They rock.